Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shaving with a straight razor....

What you will need:
Stuff that you can't carry on an airplane.
Main reference for finding out what you really need to know: (and no, I don't get a commission....)
Begin with a 'wet beard.'
Best: take a shower
Works: soak beard with a hot, wet towel
You won't like it: throw some water on your face and lather up
This 'soaking' recommendation seems important. Apparently, scraping even the most wimpy of beards is pretty tough and anything that causes drag to the razor (such as a dryish beard) makes for irritation (if you're lucky) or ouchy gashes (if you're... well... not so lucky).
After soaking, don't dry your face. In fact, you might consider splashing your face with the occasional handful of water as you prepare your brush.
OK, I'm getting bored....
Use a badger bristle shaving brush. Lather up.
Open the straight razor. Try not to hold it by the blade. Position your arm in a twisted arc and apply razor to face. It helps to reduce the angle (and the spelling 'angel' oddly comes to mind). If you don't get the angle correct, don't worry, 'nature' will give you feedback in direct proportion to your error.
* * *
And here I self censure a paragraph that I found revolting in it's graphic, although possibly humorous, rendition of the result of the above mentioned 'feedback.' 
* * *
Keep in mind that these little 'feedbacks' generally don't hurt much and will leak only for a few minutes (seconds sometimes). So persevere and, in the beginning, just lay the blade flat against your cheek and angle it up just enough to scrape beard from face -- removing as little skin as possible.
Well, whatever.
The point is that shaving with a straight razor is a fun exercise for people who enjoy such things. It helps not to hurry.
It also helps not to be particularly shaky nor prone to sudden jerks of the arm or head.
I suspect that trying to shave with a cut-throat on a train might be ill advised.
I've been doing this for a month or so which, naturally, makes me an expert.... I have only one scar, so far, and it seems healing nicely (thank you). My friend JB suggested that I might just claim it as a dueling scar from Heidelberg.
I like that... only the direction it tilts toward seems a bit wrong. Ah well....

No comments:

Post a Comment